Middle East quartet urges permanent status accord in nine months
The diplomatic Middle East quartet - the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia - on Friday urged Israeli and Palestinian parties to reach a permanent status agreement within nine months, dpa reported.
Attending a meeting at UN headquarters in New York, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union foreign and policy envoy Catherine Ashton were briefed on the recent Israeli-Palestinian talks.
They were joined by quartet representative Tony Blair, Israeli chief negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.
The quartet has called for a two-state solution, in which Israel and a state of Palestine living in peace next to each other and a permanent solution to the status of Jerusalem.
The group reaffirmed in a statement their "determination to lend effective support to the efforts of the parties and their shared commitment to reach a permanent status agreement within the agreed goal of nine months."
The group praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for their commitment to "remaining engaged in sustained and continuous negotiations to address all of the core issues."